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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

School’s almost out and summer is just around the corner. With the pandemic (hopefully) ending soon, a lot of people are looking forward to finally being able to go out and enjoy life while also getting a nice tan. But before you start reaching for the suntan lotions and the tiny bikinis, let’s talk about sunscreen.

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Growing up, hearing your mom call out to you “don’t forget your sunscreen” on a day where all you wanted to do was jump in the water was seen as an annoying waste of time. Of course, though, your mother is always right; sunscreen is a necessity, but not only on hot days. Usually, for most people, but especially Floridians, sunscreen is only viewed as a “summertime” need. This cannot be further from the truth though. It’s incredibly insane how damaging the sun is for our skin on a daily basis. Even just being in your room with your blinds open, the sun’s rays will still amazingly catch you. After fully realizing all of this on my own terms, I started wearing sunscreen every day. It took me a while to find a sunscreen that best works for me, but I finally did. So now I am here to give you some tips on how to find the best sunscreen for your own daily use.

1. Learn which ingredients are necessary and which are not

My sunscreen journey started after watching a TikTok video (of course) months ago on what ingredients are best for sunscreen. The random guy in the video stated that the zinc ingredient is very important and should be in your sunscreen. Not wanting to just take the word of an online stranger, I started doing my own research on zinc and other ingredients. I learned that zinc is a great aspect of sunscreen. However, I also learned that there are two types of sunscreen: chemical and physical. For more clarity, chemical sunscreens use ingredients that the skin absorbs really well while also transfiguring UV rays into heat. Physical sunscreen is mineral-based and the sunscreen sort of sits on top of the skin, bouncing UV rays off and away. For great ingredients pertaining to which form of sunscreen you choose to go with, here is a great article that goes more in-depth. For some quick sunscreen elements, I personally recommend zinc and titanium dioxide together as they are very safe and get the job done.

2. White cast or no white cast

This question is something that you need to ask yourself before you go buying any type of sunscreen. So, by now, you have looked at the ingredients list and which ones sound good for your skin (if you haven’t, go do that). However, you should also know that some ingredients are the main offenders behind the dreaded white cast that many sunscreens leave behind. I am here to tell you that as much as I personally love zinc, it is definitely the ingredient that will help to leave a white cast. For me, I prevent this as much as possible by using extremely small amounts of sunscreen at a time and making sure to rub it all in. The best way to avoid a white cast completely is by buying a chemical sunscreen.

3. Sunscreens to look into

Now that we have some basic knowledge of the world of sunscreen, we can start to look at actual brands! I will say though, that really good quality sunscreens can run you up a check for sure, but I’m going to throw some good cheaper options in there as well for you. If you don’t want a white cast but still want a little bit of zinc, I suggest you look into TIZO Ultra Zinc Body And Face Sunscreen SPF 40+ for $42. For a cheaper option with no white cast, look into Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 100+ for $16. If you don’t mind a possible white cast, I suggest Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen SPF 50+ for around $12 to $15. This is the one that I use, and I love it, but a little goes a long way!

Now that you’ve got some basic knowledge, some great articles to look into later and a few sunscreen suggestions, I’ll leave you to your hot girl summer!

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Mia is a sophomore student at Florida State University majoring in Criminology with the hopes of going to law school. Mia enjoys movies, music, soccer, and being with her friends and family.
Her Campus at Florida State University.